May 21 2007

Grilled Summer Squash and Zucchini

May/June is always a big month for the food magazines to feature BBQ and Grilling. Such is the case with Gourmet Magazine’s June issue. On the cover it has some grilled meat along with grilled yellow squash and zucchini. Go pick up a Gourmet Magazine as the whole magazine has a wealth of BBQ and grilling related items. The recipe for the squash and zucchini is on page 161. Of course, TG tweaked it!

Cut the zucchini and squash lengthwise into 1/4″ to 1/2″ strips. Put the strips in a bowl and pour enough olive oil to coat them along with salt and black pepper. Gently toss to coat. At this point they were grill ready.

I placed them in a perforated square grilling basket over direct heat to sear the squash strips. Since my fire was too hot and it wanted to burn the olive oil, I moved the basket to the indirect side of the grill. (Remember to keep gently tossing the vegetables.)

Now here’s what I picked up from the magazine that put this recipe “off the chain.” While I was grilling the veggies, TLW made this dressing:

2 T fresh lemon juice

2 t Creole mustard

1/4 t sugar

2 T olive oil

Combine the above ingredients in a bowl and pour the dressing over the grilled vegetables before serving. Yum. We both loved it!

May 21 2007

Green Beans for a Crowd

TG picked up a last minute party for SCAD’s (Savannah College of Art and Design) Fashion Show for 120 people this past weekend and we had only 48 hours to produce it. Generally it takes a week or better. I had to come up with a menu that could be produced in a hurry that didn’t have long cooking times. Here’s the menu: smoked pork loin (marinated in mojo), lemon pepper chicken, our famous cole slaw with a sweet vinegar sauce, tossed green salad vidalia onion vinaigrette dressing and green beans (that turned out to be quite a hit).

Back to the green beans… TG has finally found the secret to cooking green beans in a large quantity. (The Little Woman has a problem with cooked green beans that look and taste like canned ones.) I buy the frozen green beans in 5 pound bags from Sam’s. It is a smaller, longer bean than the cut green beans. Our pot (I used a turkey fryer pot) only holds 15 pounds at a time. Bring the water to a boil, put the beans in along with a handful of minced garlic and a few shakes of garlic pepper (also purchased at Sam’s Club). Let the water come back to a boil and continue for about 5 minutes. Carefully remove the green beans from the pot (steam can burn you as much as fire can.) Let the beans cool for two or three minutes and place them in serving pans (I used half pans.) Using “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spread out a generous portion of it all over the top of the beans. Like Paula Deen, TG believes butter makes everything taste better.

Ironically, the green beans caught the attention of the guests before the remainder of the menu…probably because they were health conscious fit young people…mostly models, students and faculty members.

We did the whole party from set up to clean up in less than two and a half hours…a record for us. Client was very happy!

May 4 2007

A Narrow Window for a Gourmet's Delight

Late April and early May is the time you want to make sure you treat yourself to some Alaskan King salmon. Last week TG ordered a whole King salmon…all fourteen pounds of it from Halpern’s Purveyors of Meat & Seafood in Atlanta. Spent some time cutting it into 1+ pound portions and using a vacuum seal machine to preserve the integrity of the product.

Last night we had our first sampling and TLW awarded The General a star for my efforts! I used my favorite salmon marinade and grilled it over indirect heat to an internal temperature of 140*.

Be sure when you use the marinade on your salmon…never to marinate fish more than an hour (45 minutes is ok)…especially if it has lemon juice in it as it will break down the protein in the flesh.